The MCP photo challenges give you a stress-free chance to sharpen your creative editing skills. Edit the weekly photo, share it for critique and you can gain increased strength and confidence with your editing skills. Participation allows you to strengthen your editing skills, learn how to give and receive constructive criticism, and watch how others work with different Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets. Join us to edit a member submitted photo bi-weekly.
This week’s editing challenge photo is a lovey Italian countryside shot taken by Sheila Dickson Clapperton
If you have an idea on how you’d edit the image below, or want to see and learn what others did, JOIN US HERE. Haven’t had time to try your hand at this photo? No worries, you still have an additional week to post yours.
Several of members of the group have shared great edits. Here are a few of the many favorites:
Submitted by Amanda Holowaty using MCP Mini Fusion Action Set
Edited by Jordana Jelinek Zdanowicz
Edited by Justin Borden
Edited by Maureen Barry Souza
Thank you again to Sheila Dickson Clapperton for allowing us to use this photo. The current challenges are linked at the top of the group. Remember, you can also ask for critique on your edit.
This week the Photography Challenge continued look at things from all angles. So many fabulous photos flooded the gallery this week! It was very hard to choose, but here are a few additional favorites:
Submitted by Danielle Potts
Submitted by Jaclyn Brenning Sisk
Submitted by Jamie Lynn
Submitted by Patty McCabe
Submitted by Tammy Burns Trejos
Submitted by Yvonne Germond
The photo challenge is a great way to reach outside the box and shoot creatively. In addition to new ideas, you have the support of a large group of photographers who can assist you and give you feedback as you work on specific themes and skills. We loved seeing so many great photos. Here are a few we wanted to feature, but make sure to check the album on the group page for more.
The team would like to thank everyone who submitted a photo for the challenge. Visit the the Facebook Group on Monday for a new Photography Challenge.
What editing style fits you most?
When you first start out in photography, chances are you are trying to find your style. This takes place in camera, as you pose (or don’t pose) your subjects, as you decide what lighting to use or avoid, and more. When you sit down at the computer, you bring your style to light even more.
What editing tools and products you use often further define your style. But they do not have to. You can achieve so many different looks from our actions and presets
So many times people ask which set of Lightroom presets or Photoshop actions they should buy. Or photographers will ask exactly what their photo would look like with a specific set. Since our products are so adjustable and include so many options, there is truly something for everyone. You can edit as light or heavy-handed as you like, and mix and match until you build the edit exactly as you imagined it when you clicked the shutter release button.
Here’s an example using just one product of why it’s hard to answer which product gets you a specific look. All of these edits below used just the Enlighten presets for Lightroom. Imagine if I edited this image with other presets from the set, or with one of our action sets? I could literally make thousands of examples that looked different using just one image. Now factor in camera settings, styling, lighting, etc. You can accomplish anything with that combination at your fingertips.
Add a comment below and tell us which of these images best fits your style.
Thank you to Andee Tate of Crave for the use of her beautiful image.
If you were having problems with your knee and decided you needed to see a doctor, would you prefer to take a trip to the general practitioner or would you rather see a bone & joint specialist? Since the knee is a joint, most people would probably rather see a bone & joint specialist – or even better, a bone & joint specialist that exclusively treats knee injuries. You would likely have to pay a premium to see this specialist because they have more extensive knowledge about knee injuries – they have special training, expertise, and experience with knee injuries.
Why am I talking about doctors in a post about photography? Because, like doctors, photographers can choose to specialize and become experts at a particular type of photography – and people are willing to pay a premium to work with experts. If you specialize in senior pictures, that’s a good start, but specializing within the senior market is even better! (Disclaimer: this does not mean you need to specialize and certainly you can photograph seniors, children, families, etc – but specialization is the business model I will be discussing today.)
For example, I am a senior portrait photographer that specializes in outdoor, natural light, natural looking senior pictures. My website is full of these kinds of pictures, most of which are taken out in the country with tall grass, gravel roads, trees, ponds, etc.
My clients tend to be fun, confident and easy-going. Some bring their animals with them (which I love) and some choose to use my vintage props to ‘stylize’ some of their pictures.
My website and all of my marketing material, packaging and branding compliment my specialty and reflect my style. This helps attract clients that will highly value me as an artist and who will most likely be happy with my work. It also helps deter clients that have something else in mind for their pictures, therefore saving me from experiencing dissatisfied clients.
There are other successful senior portrait photographers in my town that focus on glamorous, high fashion, highly-retouched senior pictures. That’s another example of specializing within the market. As long as there is a demand for the types of pictures you offer, you can specialize in whatever makes you happiest!
Now, just because you specialize in a specific type of photography doesn’t mean you can’t do other types of sessions, too. When I first decided to tailor my business towards seniors, I didn’t stop taking other sessions; I simply marketed heavily to seniors and began shooting more seniors than any other type of portrait photography. Now, about 90% of my inquiries are seniors because I’ve established the reputation as a senior portrait photographer.
You also don’t have to limit yourself to one specialty, although, I would recommend two or three at the most and to establish one at a time. This year, I have added lifestyle family photography to my business and one day I may add a specialized boudoir component.
How to start specializing in senior photography:
If you like the idea of specializing, where do you start?
- I began by finding young, senior-looking models and offered them free sessions. I shot the sessions exactly how I envisioned them.
- Then I blogged those pictures and put them on my website and all over Facebook.
- I tailored my branding toward my specialty and I explained my style on my website. Slowly I began to attract my ideal clientele.
Establishing yourself as an expert or specialist takes time. But once people begin to see you as an expert, they are willing to pay more to experience your premium service.
What type of photography do you want to specialize in? I’d love to see everyone’s responses in the comment section.
Up next: Posing High School Seniors
All images in this post were edited using MCP Four Seasons – Summer Solstice Actions.
About the Author: Ann Bennett is the owner of Ann Bennett Photography in Tulsa, OK. She specializes in high school senior pictures and lifestyle family photography. For more information about Ann, visit her website www.annbennettphoto.com or Facebook page www.facebook.com/annbennettphotography.